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Poster: HektorT Date: Jan 24, 2011 4:11am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: One-Eyed Jacks

Video Cellar you should know as well as anybody here that a notice on some random dvd rip means nothing. Show me a notice on an original film print and you have an argument.

re: archive.org print. Equally, freemooviesonline.com states the reason for PD as being the film was published without a copyright notice. WARNING: that site has a trojan downloader virus on many pages. Don't go there if you have no up to date virus protection.

re Music: If the music really is under copyright without any additional factors coming into play then you could be right.

re: underlying copyrights: If I wanted to find out if such existed I would tell my lawyer to call the book copyright owner and ask him to license the story for film rights. IF he tells me he sold all film rights to Paramount then I know this is a non-issue.

It's good to know the rules but bad to argue them so stridently when there is always the possibility that other factors are at play.

This post was modified by HektorT on 2011-01-24 12:03:56

This post was modified by HektorT on 2011-01-24 12:11:35

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Poster: Video-Cellar Date: Jan 24, 2011 6:13am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: One-Eyed Jacks

The print on IA looks like its transferred from an original widescreen print and the

"copy notice"
TRADE MARK
Paramount Pictures Corporation

format is correct for the time and looks as original as the VistaVision and Technicolor credits.

This same notice appears on the dozen different copies I have here. Are we to assume that all these PD distributers placed the same notice in the same place on completely random copies of the film some mastered pan and scan for video and others digitally mastered widescreen for DVD? They don't appear to all be from the same source prints. The sheer coincidnece of it all lends to the argument that the copy notice might have been on much earlier source prints.

After looking through all these copies that I have accrued over the years, I would really like someone to show me the print that doesn't have a copright notice.

This post was modified by Video-Cellar on 2011-01-24 14:13:57

Attachment: OEJ_Copy_Notice_1.jpg
Attachment: OEJ_Copy_Notice_3.jpg

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Poster: HektorT Date: Jan 24, 2011 8:23am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: One-Eyed Jacks

@videocellar: Stephen Fishman who has published a book on the subject, has stated clearly and unambiguously in that book that many publishers slap a copyright symbol on subsequent copies of works that were originally published without one, in order to discourage diffusion into the public domain.

Call it a 2nd opinion if you like.

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Poster: Video-Cellar Date: Jan 24, 2011 7:45pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: One-Eyed Jacks

That may be so. But, in this case, I just can't believe that two copies of the film, which are decribed exactly as all the versions I have seen (and noted to contain the same notice that appear in all of the prints I have seen), were lodged with the copyright office and then three months later on general release the copyright notice disappeared only to reappear miraculously at some later date. I'm sorry that just doesn't wash.

If the film was successfully registered as published work there is little room to consider the lack of copyright notice claim as anything other than speculation or creative memory.

ONE-EYED JACKS. Pennebaker, Inc. Released
by Paramount Pictures Corp.
141 min., sd., Technicolor, 35 mm.
VistaVision. Based on the novel The
authentic death of Hendry Jones by
Charles Neider. © Pennebaker, Inc.;
31Dee60; LP19590.


I can only find records of unauthorised commercial releases of this film going back to the early 90s, which suggests that the suspected fraudulent renewal claim was the basis for the perceived PD status of the film.

This post was modified by Video-Cellar on 2011-01-25 03:45:14

Attachment: Registration-OneEyedJacks.jpg

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Poster: HektorT Date: Jan 25, 2011 6:15am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: One-Eyed Jacks

what you write above is unclear to me. What is important is whether or not there was a copyright notice on original prints. VHS/Videodisc/DVD did not come about for quite some time after. But I'm sure you already know that for One Eyed Jacks, many dvd sources are pulled from a videodisc release.

In any event, if your research is singularly unique perhaps you should offer your legal services to Paramount, I'm sure they would be happy to regain the rights to one of the best Westerns ever made. It would also pay you a lot better than posting for free here.

But before you make the phone call you might want to read this link below. Distribution in the hinterlands quite probably qualifies as publishing and if so you'll need to fire up your time machine so you can take a look at that print. As I pointed out above, there are quite often extenuating factors that explain apparent contradictions. In many cases, needed information is not readily available to the public and in such cases arguing that the conventional wisdom is wrong because you assume that you have all the information may be a disservice.

http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=18485&;forumID=1&archive=1

This post was modified by HektorT on 2011-01-25 14:10:56

This post was modified by HektorT on 2011-01-25 14:15:38

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Poster: Video-Cellar Date: Jan 25, 2011 7:34am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: One-Eyed Jacks

That performance could not be cosidered a publication. Whether it contained a notice does not matter. This is when the publication of the film began.

What my above post says is that a copyright registration form, two deposit copies, verified to contain a valid copyright notice and a written description were deposited with the copyright office three months before the films general release in March 1961. The copyright office dutifully issued a certificate for the film. That registration afforded the film protection for 28 years with the option of a further renewal term.

I can find no hard evidence of widepread unauthorised commercial use of this film until around 1991, a few years after the renewal date. The peak in public domain video was the mid 1980s, so it should not be difficult to find commercial PD releases of this film from the 1980s if it was generally considered public domain due to omission of, or error in, notice. The film is not listed in Waymark's "1000 Best Films on Video" (1984) and is listed as not on video in Shipman's "Good Film and Video Guide" (1985).

The first authorised commercial video releases I can find were by Paramount in the US and their international distrbutor CIC in the UK. The first PD release I can find is one released by UAV in 1991. This leads me to the conclusion that the film was not generally considered to be PD until after the renewal date.

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Poster: HektorT Date: Jan 26, 2011 4:07pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: One-Eyed Jacks

more and more assumptions. To release a copy you must first have a source (you have also posted in this forum before that some pd films are not available because there are no prints available to copy). Getting a print from the Library of Congress is not possible. Not for me at least, and I have tried :-) I took a quick look at IMDB and the first VHS version was released by Paramount. If your information is correct, all the copies quickly followed.

The only reason i'm writing this is that i've been billed lawyer fees deep into 5 figures, frequently from top firms. But I've never even once got the kind of certainty from them that you give.

The key event for a "publishing" event for film is availability for distribution via a distributor. The memoir of one person verifies that the film was available for screening in some fashion before the final version. It does not in any way try to describe the scope of that distribution, not do we know if said person was even privy to such information.

If we changed places here and I were you, I would say, I find it hard to believe a production would base decisions on a focus group sample size of 1. And I would also say, exactly how does a company based in LA find a cinema in the hinterlands? Most likely, it goes to a distribution company it works closely with and says, "can you get this screened at a couple of cinemas that are representative of America". Then the distribution company adds it to its catalog as "available for screening" or something like that. Now for legal purposes it has been published. -- of course that is all pure speculation, but speculation is what is keeping this discussion going.

This post was modified by HektorT on 2011-01-27 00:04:59

This post was modified by HektorT on 2011-01-27 00:07:52

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Poster: Video-Cellar Date: Jan 26, 2011 6:43pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: One-Eyed Jacks

Under the law at the time, even if they engage an external distributor to take the film out into the sticks to show it, the preview would be considered a "performance" and not a "publication".

To release a copy you must first have a source (you have also posted in this forum before that some pd films are not available because there are no prints available to copy). Getting a print from the Library of Congress is not possible. Not for me at least, and I have tried :-) I took a quick look at IMDB and the first VHS version was released by Paramount. If your information is correct, all the copies quickly followed.

The argument just doesn't ring true, again. This film was distributed by Paramount to network and later cable TV very widely in the late 1960s, 70s and 80s. It was even theatrically re-released a number of times. I can find network TV listings for just about every year from 1966 onwards. Other films that were considered PD that had had similar TV exposure, "Charade" for example, had very early PD video releases and it was not until a decade later that an "official" version was released. I have even seen evidence of 80s PD releases of movies that were clearly taped off cable. "One-Eyed Jacks" did not disappear in 1961 only to reappear on video 30 years later.

As a side note, if most pan and scan VHS and DVD transfers were derived from the Paramount/CIC Video master from 1990, they would probably violate any copyright Paramount had in its master as in the case of the MPI vs UAV action. DVDs mastered from Para's mid 90s LD would not be subject to this technicality.

It is clear that Paramount is not greatly interested in utilising their rights in the film. That might make it a type of orphaned work. But the film is not free from all copyright protection.

This post was modified by Video-Cellar on 2011-01-27 02:43:26

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Poster: HektorT Date: Jan 27, 2011 6:09am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: One-Eyed Jacks

Truly Amazing.

>>Under the law at the time, even if they engage an external distributor to take the film out into the sticks to show it, the preview would be considered a "performance" and not a "publication".<<

American Vitagraph Inc, vs Levy, 659 F.2d (9th Cir. 1981) ruled that films were published for copyright purposes when copies were placed in exchanges for distribution to theater operators. If you can show that the screener for this was not then you have only shown that this potential source of a print without a notice is not a factor. But i don't think you can even show that.


>>Other films that were considered PD that had had similar TV exposure, "Charade" for example, had very early PD video releases and it was not until a decade later that an "official" version was released. I have even seen evidence of 80s PD releases of movies that were clearly taped off cable. "One-Eyed Jacks" did not disappear in 1961 only to reappear on video 30 years later.<<

>>It is clear that Paramount is not greatly interested in utilising their rights in the film. That might make it a type of orphaned work. But the film is not free from all copyright protection.<<

More assumptions. Additionally, an orphan work is a work for which the copyright holder cannot be found. The fact that "VideoCellar" has decided this work is protected by US Copyright and should be defended based on the fact that it does not conform with the history of other PD films means nothing as far as the status of the film is concerned.
Opinions have no place in determining the legal status of a copyrighted work.

No more time for this.

This post was modified by HektorT on 2011-01-27 14:09:13

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Poster: Video-Cellar Date: Jan 27, 2011 7:09am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: One-Eyed Jacks

Truly Amazing.

>>Under the law at the time, even if they engage an external distributor to take the film out into the sticks to show it, the preview would be considered a "performance" and not a "publication".<<

American Vitagraph Inc, vs Levy, 659 F.2d (9th Cir. 1981) ruled that films were published for copyright purposes when copies were placed in exchanges for distribution to theater operators. If you can show that the screener for this was not then you have only shown that this potential source of a print without a notice is not a factor. But i don't think you can even show that.


Previews like this were always done roadshow style and were NEVER the product of handing over distribution to a film exchange. How often have you heard of an EXHIBITOR organising a test screening or preview of a film in 1960. This sort of preview was always organised by studio staff, usually the press and promotions people, who transported the print and the survey cards to the theatre, handed the print over to the projectionist and the cards to the audience and collected them afterwards. They screening would not have been advertised. They simply would have commandeered that evenings crowd after the program had played.

Do you know anything about film pre-distribution of the time? This was Paramounts practice at the time. I don't see any reason why they would have deviated from it and got in a film exchange to organise a preview screening.

I have presented evidence that this film was not treated as PD until the 1990s
- Multiple print sources all have copyright notices.
- The copyright registration containing a verified copyright notice
- That its many network showings were on CBS stations (affiliated with Paramount's Television Distribution arm since the 60s).
- There were no unauthorised video releases until 1991, which is after the renewal date.

For the lack of complete public domain (or free from any copyright) status of the film I presented:
- A copyright renewal registration for the film that may or may not be valid, nobody can prove that David R Baer was not the Person With a (documented) History that the renewal claims he was.
- Copyright renwals for the underlying musical scores and literary source.

I have said that the work is not "free from copyright", that the work may be covered by copyright if the renewal is valid and, if the renewal is invalid, the copyright owners would have avenues to control the works distribution based on their underlying rights.

What you have offered us as proof of release without notice:
- A reference to a website that claims it is PD due to ommission of notice while housing a video that CONTAINS A NOTICE.
- The word of reputable PD distributers who, lo and behold, sell copies THAT CONTAIN THE SAME COPYRIGHT NOTICE.
- Stephen Fishman's wise observation that some claimants put notices on after the fact.

Who was it again who was making assumptions?

Additionally, an orphan work is a work for which the copyright holder cannot be found

...or determined. We could not really be sure who would own the copyright. Is it Paramount, its musical publishing arm, the author of the novel, David R Baer or whichever successor-in-interest might exist for Brando's company "Pennebaker, Inc." if some rights reversion was in place?

Maybe we should just call it an abandoned work.

Thanks for your effort, but I don't think anyone can say irrefutably that this film either is or is not in the public domain. The copyright renewals are not definitive in themselves and it can not be definitively proved that the film was published without a notice.